New grant bid for Bradbourne Lakes | Sevenoaks District Council

New grant bid for Bradbourne Lakes

Published: Friday, 12th November 2021

Sevenoaks District Council is making renewed efforts to secure funding to improve Bradbourne Lakes.

Working with the Kent Wildlife Trust, the Council today (Friday 12 November 2021) submitted a joint application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for £550,000.

If the application is successful, it will help fund the biggest enhancement of Bradbourne Lakes since their construction in the 18th century, improving the popular site for people and nature.

This work forms part of the Council’s Vision Plan, which was commissioned to celebrate the history of the site, enhance biodiversity and encourage public access. The Bradbourne Residents’ Association and the wider community had a big say on the development of the Vision.

The vision includes dredging the lakes, repairing the lake edges, walls and ornamental features, improving water quality and upgrading the paths to make the area accessible to a greater number of people. Planting hedges and trees, as well as other ecological improvements, form part of the plans.

Kent Wildlife Trust would support the improvements and employ a dedicated Education & Engagement Officer for Bradbourne Lakes, and the nearby Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, to deliver exciting events and educational activities for people of all ages and abilities.

The Council has already secured £252,000 towards the improvements from home-builders under the 'Community Infrastructure Levy', a charge collected by the Council on new, larger developments in the District. If the bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund is successful, the work could begin next year.

Cllr Margot McArthur, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Cleaner and Greener, says: “The Bradbourne Lakes are a popular destination with potential to be even better.

“We have ambitions to make the site more accessible to all with lots of changes to support nature, including new trees and hedges to help with our drive towards Net Zero by 2030.

“Our plans are not limited to physical improvements. In partnership with the Kent Wildlife Trust, there will be an exciting programme of activities covering the Lake’s rich history and lessons to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to support nature and the environment.”

Simon Bateman-Brown, Head of Land Management at Kent Wildlife Trust, adds: “We’re very excited to be partnering with Sevenoaks District Council on such a fantastic project. There are so many benefits to wildlife and people that may be possible through this project and such a huge potential for education and engagement with visitors.”

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